Vandroya – One
A female fronted Brazilian power metal band, this is something I had yet to encounter. Now the only question is; are they going to emulate Nightwish or Angra? Fortunately, Vandroya doesn’t seem to be mimicking either. The biggest parallel and best comparison I can make are with Seven Kingdoms’ newest album The Fire Is Mine. This is female fronted power metal with a vocalist who is a lot less operatic and spends most of her time in the midrange. Daisa Munhoz does sound a lot like Seven Kingdoms’ singer Sabrina Valentine, although I like her (Daisa) better. Sabrina is good, but she can sound… cold and a little lacking in emotion, which works with the band’s style, but Daisa has more energy.
For the most part this is fairly typical power metal, which kind of hurts the album, but the band manages to make up for this with a few well placed and very unique songs. The opener “The Last Free Land” isn’t one of these, but it’s strong enough, and with a good energetic chorus to make it a highlight of this album. “Within Shadows” is a great song, and a very unique one with its abundance of Brazilian elements (this song was also the title track of their 2005 EP). The other song from that EP, “Why Should We Say Goodbye” is probably the first noteworthy ballad I have heard in a while. It manages to be epic and powerful without being too pompous and perfectly balances the “prettiness” with the power that one expects from a power ballad. “When Heaven Decides To Call” and “Solar Nights” are probably the other most notable songs here. “When Heaven Decides To Call” isn’t anything new, but like the first song, it’s easily fun enough that it doesn’t have to be. “Solar Nights”, on the other hand, is fantastic, with a really beautiful piano intro it launches into some powerful mid-paced power metal. This song is supposed to serve as the “epic” of the album, and even though it’s only seven and a half minutes it manages to carry out that role pretty well. It starts off in that mid-tempo feel until it builds into a faster climax; it never truly starts blazing, but its a great example of some classic prog-power.
As I said, there really isn’t anything truly remarkable about this album, but it does what it wants to very well with a couple of twists. The song “Within Shadows” is probably the best song on here with its blend of traditional euro power metal and Brazilian elements. “Solar Nights” is the other track from this that I would strongly recommend. The combination of female vocals with Brazilian power metal is definitely a reason to check this out and the good songs are definitely ones you’ll want to come back to. When this album breaks away from the power metal norm and tries to do some unique things it really does them well. This is a power metal album that any fan of female-fronted work should definitely check out.
Ian’s score 4.0 out of 5